- Source of antioxidants
- Protective of heart health
- Prevent the progression of genetic birth defects
This pointy plant surrounded by pointy, green petals known as “bracts” which protects the center called the “choke” containing heart of the artichoke. The juicy part of the petals can be eaten as well as the heart of the “choke”
If you tend to overlook this exotic looking plant, then you should continue reading on. Artichokes contain an arsenal of powerful anti-oxidants! According to a survey on popular foods by the Norwegian and American researchers found that artichokes ranked in the TOP 50 for the food that raked in the highest amount of antioxidant content per 100 grams of food.
Further studies measured the anti-oxidants levels in over 100 foods. Guess what? They found that artichoke surpasses the greatest amount of antioxidant capacity per serving size, scoring higher than peppers, apples, blackberries, cherries, plums and strawberries. Mind you that these aforementioned fruits are an antioxidant arsenal in themselves.
So if you are looking for a new produce packed with antioxidants, you should consider this unconventional edible plant. It might seem very complicated to cook this little gems, but there are recipes available online. Simply google for artichoke recipes. The easiest way to consume it is to cut off the pointy tips, fill a pot halfway with water and let it simmer for 25-30 minutes. You can also steam them if you prefer, covered with the lid on. You know it’s cooked when you can easily pluck the center petal. To eat the petals, use your teeth to extract the tiny tender flesh in the petals. Once all the petals are gone, it’s time to eat the tender heart or centre of the Artichoke. Be sure to discard the hairy layer of the ‘choke’.
Arti-Choke-ful of Fibers!
Most North Americans are accustomed to getting take-outs that they often don’t consume significant amount of super foods that we’ve been talking about. The heart of the matter is that most people don’t consume enough fibers in their diets. Now, you might wonder why it’s necessary to eat fibers when it in fact it has no nutritional value. But if you are currently having a hard time executing a smooth bowel movement or always feel constipated, then it’s time to add some fiber to your diet ASAP! Fibers when consumed are then attached to the stool, which facilitates smooth excretion of our bodily wastes. It also helps flush out the toxins and cholesterol that are stubbornly sitting in the intestinal tract. It’s essential to get fibers due to the prevention o f high cholesterol, heart disease, high blood pressure and high blood sugar and most importantly colon cancer.
A medium sized artichokes contains 6 grams of fibers, fulfilling a quarter of your daily value needs. The heart of the artichoke provides plenty of fiber if you forgo eating the petals. The recommended daily value intake of fiber is 25 grams per day.
Furthermore, artichokes provide magnesium, which is found to assist in controlling high blood pressure. This mineral is also important in maintaining a smooth function of our muscles as well as decreasing the chance of developing arrhythmia, an abnormal cardiac rhythm that’s potentially deadly. Research has shown that 20-35% of the people with heart failure has very low trace of magnesium in their system.
A medium sized artichoke contains 72 mg of magnesium.
Artichokes for pregnant women:
According to the American Center for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 70% of birth defect called neural tube defect may have been avoided if pregnant women had consumed enough folic acid before and during the entire pregnancy period. Another common defect is called Spina bifida whereby the baby’s spine does not develop properly.Doctors usually recommends folate supplement pill for those who are pregnant. But why not get the folate from a fresh and healthy source such as Artichoke.
The good news is that artichioke contains folate, related to Vitamin B which is crucial for fetal development. Another name that’s synonymous to Folate is folic acid, often found in supplements or in fortified foods.
If you’re not pregnant, consuming folate is also essential for the smooth function of nerves and in protecting against cardiovascular diseases. Did you know that folate and vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12 helps dissolve homocysteine, an amino acid in our blood. The American Heart Association found that homocysteine is related to higher risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. It is recommended to consume at least 400 micrograms of folate, but it is considered one of the most common vitamin deficiencies in North America. Folate is also found in veggies like okra and spinach. A medium artichoke contains 60 micrograms of folate, providing 15% of the daily value needs.
Artichokeful of C’s
Artichokes are a great source of Vitamin C as well. it prohibits free radicals before they become destructive to our healthy cells. It also helps us build immunity against diseases and maintain healthy skin. One medium sized artichoke contains 12 milligram of Vitamin C
Finally, as with any health advice, always consult your doctor for your own personalized recommendation.
The information provided was to assist you in making better informed decision about your own health and nutrition. it is not intended as a substitute for any treatment that may have been prescribed by your doctor. If you suspect any medical problems, please consult a competent medical professional for help and advice.